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My kids have loved going to the beach from the time they were babies. They are now almost 11 and 14 and still are happiest at the beach, although that might be because we live a few hours from the ocean. Beach = vacation at our house. These books about the ocean are perfect for kids that love the beach.
Books about the ocean can be educational and interesting for kids of all ages. I have been known to read picture books to my tweens on occasion. Sometimes picture books are helpful because they break complex information into small bite size pieces that are explained in simple language.
These books are a great way to build excitement to a beach vacation or aquarium field trip.
Books About the Ocean
This book list is broken down into several categories – picture books, chapter books for teens, and resource books. We used many of these titles in our marine biology curriculum.
Picture Books About the Ocean
These picture books about the ocean are perfect for elementary age kiddos. They present factual information in a way that is engaging for children.
This cute Cat in the Hat story follows the Cat, Sally, and Dick as they take a journey to the ocean floor. They travel through each ocean layer – sunny, twilight, dark, abyss, and the trench at the bottom. Along the way they learn about the aquatic animals they see . . .all through adorable rhyming. The rhyming nature of this story makes it a great addition to a sea themed poetry teatime!
Kids can learn all about different species of sharks through this Cat in the Hat story. Cat in the Hat, Sally, and Dick go on an underwater adventure to search for sharks. Like all Cat in the Hat books, this includes cute rhyming text.
This is a great story about how to ignore the naysayers and follow your passion. Eugenie Clark will inspire any child who dreams of becoming a marine biologist. She followed her passion into the ocean to study her favorite animal – sharks. Following your dreams, even if no one else understands, is a great message for kids.
Every animal has an important job in the ocean ecosystem. I admit, sea otters are not something that I spend much time thinking about, but we do need them. See what would happen if sea otters became extinct and then learn how to prevent that from happening.
Gail Gibbons invites kids to explore the depths of the ocean. Kids will learn how exactly scientists explore the ocean, why we don’t know more about the deepest parts of our world, and what sorts of animals live in the ocean.
Kids love searching for sea shells when they are at the beach. This book will teach them all about the animals that make these shells their homes.
Chapter Books About the Ocean
Chapter books are a fantastic way to stretch a topic into multiple academic areas. They can turn it into a unit study that is tailored to a student’s interests. These chapter books are geared towards high school age students. I have not read all of them, so be sure to browse them yourself if you are concerned about language or adult situations.
This story follows the tale of a sea captain, his crew, and a professor who are determined to kill a ‘sea monster’ that has pierced several boats. They believe that they are searching for a gigantic narwhal. They realize how wrong they were when they end up in the belly of a mechanical beast.
Pi Patel is immigrating from India to North America with his family and their zoo collection. The ship sinks before reaching the coast, leaving Pi alone in a life boat with an assortment of wild animals, including a Bengal tiger. How will he survive on a life boat with a wild predator?
This classic novel tells the tale of an old fisherman. A long streak of empty fishing nets prompts the fisherman into deeper waters. He is not used to, or prepared for, deep sea fishing. He does catch a huge fish, but it almost costs him his life.
This encyclopedia for children contains gorgeous photographs that showcase the amazing ocean wildlife. It is broken down by ocean zone – open ocean, shallow seas, coast and seashore, and arctic oceans. Each section shows explains what is unique and special about that area of the world through informative text and stunning photography.
Kids have questions. This book has answers. Here your children will find the answers to 31 common ocean questions. Books full of questions and answers can provide great discussion questions and jumping off points.
This coloring book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in marine biology. Each topic includes a page full of information and a corresponding detailed coloring page. I love this coloring book so much that I used it as a weekly resource in my marine biology curriculum.
This seashells identification guide is just the right size to throw in your beach bag. The guide is laminated, protecting it from water, wind, and sand. We used this guide on our last beach trip. It was a lot of fun searching for shells and then identifying our treasure.
What books about the ocean would you add to this list?
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